Ben Alder and the Geal-Charn range combine scale and remoteness to impressive effect. They're an undertaking from any start point, and while bikes can take the sting out of the mileage, nothing beats arriving by train. Corrour is a perfect spot to start a big round, inaccessible by car but convenient via rail from points as exotic as London and Fort William. A windswept platform in the boondocks of Rannoch Moor, it's famous for being the highest and most isolated mainline station in Britain, and for a bit part in Trainspotting (yes we're still ruled by effete ****holes). But of course it's all about the hills - and you won't be disappointed. Alder, a Cairngorm-like mass of plateau and corrie scenery dumped like an iceberg in a sea of moorland; the Geal-Charn range, an enjoyable ridge stride over a series of hulking tops; Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre with their huge views over the Moor; and little Beinn na Lap, more than just an afterthought. Try doing the lot in this seven-Munro circuit. Go light and fast from a base at Corrour, or take a tent and sleep halfway.
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Distance: 27.15 miles (43.70 km)
Total ascent: 2,798m
Time: 13 – 16 hours (Walking)
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SummitsSgor Gaibhre - Sgor Choinnich 938 m
Ben Alder 1148 m
Geal-Charn 1132 m
Aonach Beag 1116 m
Carn Dearg 941 m
Sgor Gaibhre 955 m
Beinn Eibhinn 1102 m
Beinn Eibhinn - Mullach Coire nan Nead 922 m
Beinn na Lap 935 m
Corrour station, NN355664
Easy estate tracks in the glens, and largely clear walker's paths on the main ridges. All of this is very runnable, if that's your game. But the link-ups between Munro groups tend to be rough and pathless. Some steep, rocky slopes; some interesting plateau navigation; and naturally a few bogs.
Winter conditions would hugely increase the isolation and commitment. In snow and limited daylight this round could prove arduous, but would also make for a memorable long weekend’s adventure. In poor visibility watch out for big cornices on Ben Alder in particular.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Northwest Highlands – Met Office: West Highlands
Train to Corrour; you can even come from the south by sleeper. The epitome of a public-transport-friendly wild walk
OS Explorer 385 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 393 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 41 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 42 (1:50,000)
Loch Ossian Youth Hostel is a great base https://www.hostellingscotland.org.uk/hostels/loch-ossian/ Corrour Station House has bunkhouse accommodation and a lively restaurant https://www.hostellingscotland.org.uk/hostels/loch-ossian/
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Spean Bridge (0845 22 55 121)
by Dan Bailey UKH